August 25, 2011
Contact Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882
Washington, D.C.– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to address the needs of jobless workers in his forthcoming jobs plan. The letter urged the President to not only maintain the current extension of unemployment benefits to America’s jobless workers, but to also incorporate H.R. 589, The Emergency Unemployment Extension Act. Congresswoman Lee sponsored the bill to extend unemployment benefits by fourteen more weeks for all unemployed workers.
“Extending unemployment benefits for an additional fourteen weeks would serve as an immediate resuscitation for people who have reached the end of their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Not only do jobless workers need assistance for food and shelter month to month, but unemployed workers immediately spend the assistance receive,which stimulates the economy and contributes to job growth.”
"The current Majority in the House has done nothing this year to help the millions of Americans who are chronically unemployed keep their heads above water,and any new jobs program should not leave them behind," said Congressman Scott. "These Americans are desperate for jobs but they need this lifeline now because our economy is simply not growing fast enough. I commend Congresswoman Lee for her tireless efforts supporting these forgotten Americans."
For every job opening, there are currently 4.4 unemployed workers. Of the 13.9 million people out of work, 6.2 million have been unemployed for nearly two years. Including H.R. 589 into a comprehensive and bold jobs plan is critical to providing jobless workers with the temporary assistance to meet basic needs while they focus on getting a job.
“Across the country people want and need jobs, and as we work together to create jobs we must work together to continue to support our nation’s jobless workers,” Lee continued. “Now more than ever, we must fight every effort to shred the safety net. We are in the middle of a jobs crisis and we must do all we can to address this national emergency.”
Follow Barbara Lee on Twitter@RepBarbaraLee